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HRW says UAE-backed STC forces torture journalist in Yemen

Fighters loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) reopen a highway in the southern Abyan province on 18 May 2020, following a three-hour ceasefire deal between pro-government troops and separatist forces. [NABIL HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]
Fighters loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen on 18 May 2020 [NABIL HASAN/AFP/Getty Images]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday that Yemeni forces loyal to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the southern city of Aden have tortured journalist Adel Al-Hasani who has been detained since September 2020.

HRW and Yemen's Mwatana for Human Rights said in a joint statement that the UAE-backed STC security forces arbitrarily detained and tortured Al-Hasani "for his critical news reporting".

The statement quoted an unnamed source close to Al-Hasani as saying that the STC forces chained, threatened and beat him to confess to using his work as a journalist to spy for foreign countries.

The statement quoted Afrah Nasser, Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch, as saying that "more and more journalists across Yemen are subjected to threats, intimidation, violence, or detention simply for doing their jobs reporting on the country," adding that the STC's "deplorable treatment of Adel al-Hasani further stains the appalling rights record of the STC and their UAE backers".

The statement called on the STC to immediately and unconditionally release Al-Hasani unless he has been appropriately charged with a recognisable offense.

It also called to investigate and take action against those responsible for torturing or otherwise ill-treating him.

Al-Hasani, 35, is an Aden-based investigative journalist, producer and fixer for international journalists. He has been detained in the Mansoura prison, which is run by the UAE-backed STC security forces in Aden, for nearly six months.

READ: How the UAE serves as America's duplicate Israel

HRWInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsYemen
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